Old Holland Paints: are they worth the money??
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    Old Holland Paints: are they worth the money??

    I was researching these paints and read that they are considered the finest but the prices are outrageous. $70 for a 40ml tube of Cerulean Blue!?!?!? Is Cerulean Blue that hard to make???

    I probably have would have to finance these paints in order to get them.

    I'll stick to my Gamblin paints for now, but when I have enough money to spare I'd love to try these paints.

    -Andy

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    At some point they may be worth it for you, but for now what you are using is fine. Also, genuine cerulean is a very expensive pigment these days, OH's earth colors, for instance, are far cheaper.


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    For a not quite so expensive, but better (in my opinion) alternative, try Michael Harding's colours. They are fantastic, best I have ever used...

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    http://www.cheapjoes.com/art-supplie...tists-oils.asp

    http://www.blueridgeoilpaint.com/HOME.html

    The above are good, less costing alternatives....better then Winsor & Newton anyway.

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    I personally mix and match my paints from a number of different brands. Most of the heavy metal paints (cadmiums, cobalts) aren't worth it enough for me to drop $60 on them, especially because I use all my paints at full strength. (no medium) So that'd be particularly expensive.

    With the exception being the Cremintz White that Old Holland makes. Oh man, I love that stuff... It's so hard to go back to titanium white after using real lead white. Mmmmm. (haha)

    Anyway, with that being said when I was much younger I splurged a lot on various brands... Including Old Holland. It's not the most practical way to learn about paint, but it's pretty effective. I spent like $250 on 5 tubes of paint when I was 17.

    So with that said, buy it anyway and find out for yourself!

    Although a teacher of mine once said that an excellent painter can make cheap paint look expensive and a inexperienced painter can make the most expensive paint look like crap.

    ... He also likened painting with water mixable oils to snot.

    Anyway...

    You just have to say "screw it" sometimes.

    (Don't take financial advice from me)

    P.S. - I still use Gamblin paints, they're very good.

    Last edited by Gory; May 22nd, 2008 at 01:56 PM.
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    They cram quite a bit of pigment into each tube, generally more concentrated than other brands, and pigment is the most expensive ingredient. As such, a little OH can go a long way. There are less expensive alternatives, like Williamsburg and others, even using the same pigments but less dense. You can get input from others, but it's going to be personal experience that will help you decide on if they're worth it to you.

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    "Worth it" is relative. For a student, it's probably NOT worth it because you need to go through a lot of paintings before you'll be creating anything good enough to warrant those more expensive colors.

    What you get with more expensive paints is more pure pigment. Cleaner pigments means cleaner colors, that mix more purely. Imagine cheap paint as a dirty window. You can see through it fine, make out all of the colors etc, it's just slightly less colorful than it should be. But the more panes of dirty window between you and the subject the worse the problem gets. Likewise the more colors that end up getting mixed in cheaper paint, the more the various impurities start to take their toll. A single color of cheap paint isn't too bad most of the time, but start mixing colors and you'll start seeing the difference more readily.

    The other factor in paint is what the actual pigment is. In earth tones, it's literally earth of particular types. Other colors come from other things. The real original ultramarine blue was made from the gemstone lapis lazuli. Bone Black used to be a black made from burnt animal bones. Pigment can be made from a lot of different things, and expensive or hard to come by those things are determines a lot of the price. Cheaper paints may substitute the pigment entirely, and usually call those colors a "hue", which is basicly code for "we mixed some other colors together to come close." Needless to say since it's already a mixture of pigments it won't be as pure as a "real" color. Also beware of brand name colors, as they are likely to be a mixture as well.

    Whenever possible learn to recognize the pigments that go in the paint, so you can look at the label and know exactly what you are getting. By doing some research you can sometimes look at a tube of paint and basicly figure out which tubes of paint to mix together to get that color by yourself, saving you some money.

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    When you look at what a great piece of architecture is made of you realise it's nothing more than broken rocks and dead trees, not diamonds. Titian's late paintings were made with dull earth colours mostly applied with his fingers, no Lapis Lazuli applied with selected tail hairs from the Kolonsky sable.
    If you want a turquoise blue, a modern lab equivalent such as monastral blue will make genuine cerulean blue look almost grey.....at a quarter of the price.

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    Talking

    whoa, Titian only used his fingers???????

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    Mostly≠only.


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    I love Old Holland. I love their Yellow Ochre. If you use the Zorn palette, it's an amazing paint. At first they seemed a bit stiff, but like someone said, the pigment is really dense and it goes a long way. Now, I use very little terp and rarely any medium. It dries overnight. I'm starting to want to slow it down a bit. But man, I love O.H. Especially with the Zorn palette, I've used other brands and they look less vibrant. One good thing is getting to know what a certain paint will do, how it will perform, for you. Yes, I think it's worth it.

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    I buy them but I also use Gamblin, Blockx, Lefranc Bourgeois and Winsor Newton.
    I think as long as you stick to artist grade paints you'll be okay.

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    OH has generally been too stiff for my liking, at least the handful of colors I've tried. Although, I still buy their Cremnitz White as it's actually cheaper than some other brands like Williamsburg (Their Flake White is a series 4, while OH's is still series 1. For now.) (Side note for fans of Lead Whites out there: Try and get a hold of some Flemish White. Really unique stuff, at least what I've tried)

    I mix and match a lot of different brands as well (not all companies offer the same pigments or even the same grade of pigments. i.e. a Yellow Ochre from one brand won't look the same as another brand.) Some brands of Burnt Sienna are PBr7 (more Yellow, usually) and some are PR101 (more reddish, naturally) (And there's more variation within those pigment numbers. There's a dozen or so varieties of PBr7 and PR101 depending on where they're from and how they're treated/processed/heated, etc.). Some are opaque and some are transparent. So, I use some colors from this brand and some from that brand, whatever looks good to me. You just need to know what it is you want the paint to do to figure out which brand you want for which color. And, as J Wilson said, learn how to read the label, as Artist Grade paints will usually list all pertinent information (Pigment Info, Opacity Info, and Lightfastness).

    Personally, in terms of paint consistency, my favorites are Winsor and Newton and Williamsburg. I just prefer the way they feel under the brush. Not too stiff and not too oily. Although, soon I think I may splurge on some Rublev Paints (Natural Pigments), as I've been curious about them for awhile and like some of the mediums I've tried from them.

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    Don't know too much about oils yet, I've been collecting 2-3 tubes a week of Holbein Duo from a Jerry's Artarama locally. What I can say is that the Old Holland rack has only 3 tubes hanging in it, it's basically completely empty. Most of the other brands stay stocked, but that particular rack seems to sell out regardless of the price (I believe some of the pigments were going for $97 @ 40mL?!?!).
    For a beginner in oil like myself to see this pretty much sells the brand to me without much debating. I feel undeserving of what this paint might possibly be able to do, I'm the type that will blow my last dollar on art supplies even with bills to pay
    Maybe after 20-30 pieces on a beginner level, I might start creeping a tube a week into the budget while my confidence in oils builds...we'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackARK View Post
    Don't know too much about oils yet, I've been collecting 2-3 tubes a week of Holbein Duo from a Jerry's Artarama locally. What I can say is that the Old Holland rack has only 3 tubes hanging in it, it's basically completely empty. Most of the other brands stay stocked, but that particular rack seems to sell out regardless of the price (I believe some of the pigments were going for $97 @ 40mL?!?!).
    For a beginner in oil like myself to see this pretty much sells the brand to me without much debating. I feel undeserving of what this paint might possibly be able to do, I'm the type that will blow my last dollar on art supplies even with bills to pay
    The rack always being empty doesn't necessarily mean what you think it means.

    Stores usually only have a couple of tubes of each color for the higher end brands. This is because they don't sell that well when compared to the (much larger) hobbyist market. And with new shipments probably only coming once a week, you only need a handful of repeat customers to make the racks look like that. I'd bet good money the store goes through way more tubes of Gamblin, W&N, Rembrandt, etc. basically all the other brands than it does Old Holland (which is why they make sure to always be stocked with those brands). They're probably not losing much money with the Old Holland rack being almost empty for a week.

    I've been to stores that had tubes of Old Holland that were almost a decade old! They also had some Kolinsky Sable (also a "high-end" item) brushes that said "Made in WEST Germany." This wasn't that long ago. (Which means that brush had been sitting on the store shelf, or at least in the warehouse, for over 20 years!)

    Last edited by jpacer; February 23rd, 2011 at 10:27 PM.
    "Contrary to the belief of the layman, the essential of art is not to imitate nature, but under the guise of imitation to stir up excitement with pure plastic elements: measurements, directions, ornaments, lights, values, colors, substances, divided and organized according to the injunctions of natural laws. While so occupied, the artist never ceases to be subservient to nature, but instead of imitating the incidents in a paltry way, he imitates the laws."-Andre Lhote

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    LOL, for a second, I thought the cashiers were actually taking tubes off the rack to make it look like it's selling out.....then again, this Jerry's hasn't really been here that long. Surprised the hell out of me to find one here in my area

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    haha that happend to my art store, they bought all these Old Holland paints to sell, but the store is in an art school town and only students consume products there, so they put the paints on crazy low prices to get rid of them, I got a whole lot of them to save for when I was ready. Still not ready...

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